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Quotes by Hunter S. Thompson

Quotes by Hunter S. Thompson

You can turn your back on a person, but never turn your back on a drug, especially when its waving a razor sharp hunting knife in your eye.
You better take care of me Lord, if you don’t you’re gonna have me on your hands.
Yesterday’s weirdness is tomorrow’s reason why.
Yes sir, I am a tortured man for all seasons, as they say, and I have powerful friends in high places. Birds sing where I walk, and children smile when they see me coming.
Without gambling, I would not exist.
With the possible exception of things like box scores, race results, and stock market tabulations, there is no such thing as Objective Journalism. The phrase itself is a pompous contradiction in terms.
When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.
Victory is a fleeting thing in the gambling business. Today’s winners are tomorrow’s blinking toads, dumb beasts with no hope.
Truth is weirder than any fiction I’ve seen.
There might be some serious fun in politics.
There is nothing more helpless and irresponsible than a man in the depths of an ether binge.
There is no such thing as paranoia. Your worst fears can come true at any moment.
There is no fool like a careless gambler who starts taking victory for granted.
There is always room for losers in the football business. They are the mother’s milk of gambling, and why not? Somebody has to do it, or there won’t be any winners.
There are many harsh lessons to be learned from the gambling experience, but the harshest one of all is the difference between having Fun and being Smart.
The writer must be a participant in the scene… like a film director who writes his own scripts, does his own camera work, and somehow manages to film himself in action, as the protagonist or at least the main character.
The world is still a weird place, despite my efforts to make clear and perfect sense of it.
The trouble with Nixon is that he’s a serious politics junkie. He’s totally hooked and like any other junkie, he’s a bummer to have around, especially as President.
The person who doesn’t scatter the morning dew will not comb gray hairs.
The only thing wrong with the NBA – or any other professional sport, for that matter – is a wild epidemic of Dumbness and overweening Greed. There is no Mystery about it, and no need to change any rules.
The only difference between the sane and the insane is that the sane have the power to lock up the insane.
The next MVP of the Super Bowl is just as likely to have been a full-time grocery store bagger last year as a Heisman Trophy winner.
The mind of America is seized by a fatal dry rot – and it’s only a question of time before all that the mind controls will run amuck in a frenzy of stupid, impotent fear.
The best thing about the Kentucky Derby is that it is only two minutes long. It is the quickest event in sports, except for Sumo-wrestling & Mike Tyson fights. Maybe Drag-racing is quicker, but I have never been attracted to it.
The behavior of the crowd at Churchill Downs is like 100,000 vicious Hyenas going berserk all at once in a space about the size of a 777 jet or the White House lawn.
The TV business is uglier than most things. It is normally perceived as some kind of cruel and shallow money trench through the heart of the journalism industry, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free and good men die like dogs, for no good reason.
The Raiders of old were vicious and crazy and cruel. Hanging around their locker room was like hanging around the weight room at Folsom Prison.
The Hell’s Angels try not to do anything halfway, and anyone who deals in extremes is bound to cause trouble, whether he means to or not. This, along with a belief in total retaliation for any offense or insult, is what makes the Hell’s Angels unmanageable for the police and morbidly fascinating to the general public.
The Edge… there is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over.
That was always the difference between Muhammad Ali and the rest of us. He came, he saw, and if he didn’t entirely conquer – he came as close as anybody we are likely to see in the lifetime of this doomed generation.
Some may never live, but the crazy never die.
Rush Limbaugh is a lame professional swine, and he makes a good living at it. He is like a hired geek in some traveling backwoods carnival – the freaks who bite the heads off chickens – but Limbaugh is a modernized geek who thinks he can bite the heads off of people.
Rude people will now & then ask me why I think I know so much about Politics. I tell them it’s because I’m Smart… But that is a lie: The real reason is because I’m an incurable Gambling addict.
Richard Nixon was an evil man – evil in a way that only those who believe in the physical reality of the Devil can understand it. He was utterly without ethics or morals or any bedrock sense of decency.
Richard Nixon was a criminally insane Monster – Bill Clinton is a black-hearted Swine of a friend.
Remember this, folks – I am a Hillbilly, and I don’t always Bet the same way I talk. Good advice is one thing, but smart gambling is quite another.
Quacks are a part of our culture, and we all fall prey to them. Who among us can say, for sure, that even our own personal physicians are honest and competent?
Politics is the art of controlling your environment.
Paranoia is just another word for ignorance.
One thing I have learned in my painful career as a gambler is that bragging when you get lucky and win a few games will plunge you into gloom and unacceptable beatings very soon. It happens every time.
One of the most basic factors in sports is that winning becomes a habit, and losing is the same way. When failure starts to feel normal in your life or your work or even your darkest vices, you won’t have to go looking for trouble, because trouble will find you. Count on it.
Of all the men that have run for president in the twentieth century, only George McGovern truly understood what a monument America could be to the human race.
Objective journalism is one of the main reasons that American politics has been allowed to be so corrupt for so long.
Not everybody is comfortable with the idea that politics is a guilty addiction. But it is.
No man is so foolish but he may sometimes give another good counsel, and no man so wise that he may not easily err if he takes no other counsel than his own. He that is taught only by himself has a fool for a master.
Nixon was so crooked that he needed servants to help him screw his pants on every morning.
Nixon was no more a saint than he was a great president.
Nixon was a crook, of course, but he was also a rabid football fan – and he knew the game, which still astounds me, but I have always had a soft spot for him because of it.
Nixon was a bad loser. He hated losing worse than death, and that is why I enjoyed him. We were both football fans, both addicts; and on some days, nothing else mattered.
Nixon represents that dark, venal and incurably violent side of the American character almost every other country in the world has learned to fear and despise.
March is a month without mercy for rabid basketball fans. There is no such thing as a ‘gentleman gambler’ when the Big Dance rolls around. All sheep will be fleeced, all fools will be punished severely… There are no Rules when the deal goes down in the final weeks of March. Even your good friends will turn into monsters.
Marathon running, like golf, is a game for players, not winners. That is why Callaway sells golf clubs and Nike sells running shoes. But running is unique in that the world’s best racers are on the same course, at the same time, as amateurs, who have as much chance of winning as your average weekend warrior would scoring a touchdown in the NFL.
Luck is a very thin wire between survival and disaster, and not many people can keep their balance on it.
Justice is expensive in America. There are no Free Passes… You might want to remember this, the next time you get careless and blow off a few Parking Tickets. They will come back to haunt you the next time you see a Cop car in your rear-view mirror.
Jack Kerouac influenced me quite a bit as a writer… in the Arab sense that the enemy of my enemy was my friend.
It was the Law of the Sea, they said. Civilization ends at the waterline. Beyond that, we all enter the food chain, and not always right at the top.
In my heart, I am always a Raider.
In a closed society where everybody’s guilty, the only crime is getting caught. In a world of thieves, the only final sin is stupidity.
If you’re going to be crazy, you have to get paid for it or else you’re going to be locked up.
If Sunday is the Lord’s day, then Saturday belongs to the Devil. It is the only night of the week when he gives out Free passes to the Late show at the Too Much Fun Club.
If I’d written all the truth I knew for the past ten years, about 600 people – including me – would be rotting in prison cells from Rio to Seattle today. Absolute truth is a very rare and dangerous commodity in the context of professional journalism.
I’ve already become a mastodon in print – I don’t see a consciousness for my kind of journalism.
I wasn’t trying to be an outlaw writer. I never heard of that term; somebody else made it up. But we were all outside the law: Kerouac, Miller, Burroughs, Ginsberg, Kesey; I didn’t have a gauge as to who was the worst outlaw. I just recognized allies: my people.
I was 22 when JFK was murdered, and I will never recover from it… Never.
I think I’m one of the most patriotic people that I’ve ever encountered in America. I consider myself a bedrock patriot. I participate very actively in local politics, because my voice might be worthwhile. I participate in a meaningful way – not by donations; I work at it.
I learned a long time ago that reality was much weirder than anyone’s imagination.
I just usually go with my own taste. If I like something, and it happens to be against the law, well, then I might have a problem.
I have warned many times about the guaranteed dangers of betting with your heart instead of your head – big darkness, soon come – but every once in a while you get a fair chance to have it both ways, and the annual NCAA basketball Tournament is one of them.
I have never believed much in luck, and my sense of humor has tended to walk on the dark side.
I have long understood that losing always comes with the territory when you wander into the gambling business, just as getting crippled for life is an acceptable risk in the linebacker business. They both are extremely violent sports, and pain is part of the bargain. Buy the ticket, take the ride.
I have learned, in my life and work as a sportswriter, that big-time Sports and big-time Politics are not so far apart in America. They are both a means to the same end, which is victory… And why not? Victory is good for you, and don’t let anybody tell you different.
I have always loved blizzards, if only because of the driving experience – which is definitely an acquired taste.
I have always hated bowling, and I don’t mind admitting it.
I have a theory that the truth is never told during the nine-to-five hours.
I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they’ve always worked for me.
I hate pain, despite my ability to tolerate it beyond all known parameters, which is not necessarily a good thing.
I had a soft-spot in my heart for Ronald Reagan, if only because he was a sportswriter in his youth.
I guess that’s one of the things about growing up in the fifties – it never occurred to me that you wouldn’t be at least as successful as your parents.
I don’t think that my kind of journalism has ever been universally popular. It’s lonely out here.
I can’t think in terms of journalism without thinking in terms of political ends. Unless there’s been a reaction, there’s been no journalism. It’s cause and effect.
I believe the Republicans have never thought that democracy was anything but a tribal myth.
I am surprised and embarrassed to be a part of the first American generation to leave the country in far worse shape than it was when we first came into it.
I am not a yachting person, by nature, but I have just enough experience on the sea under sail to feel a certain nostalgia for it when I see a big white racing yacht heeled over at cruising speed on the ocean, and I can still tie a mean bowline knot on just about anything in less than 10 seconds.
I am more than just a serious basketball fan. I am a life-long addict. I was addicted from birth, in fact, because I was born in Kentucky and I learned, early on, that Habitual Domination was a natural way of life.
I am an Addictive Personality, they say, a natural slave to passion – and many Doctors have warned me against it. I am a High-risk Patient.
I am a professional sportswriter, among other things, and I take the games seriously. It is only one of my many powerful addictions, and I don’t mind admitting any of them.
I am a generous man, by nature, and far more trusting than I should be. Indeed. The real world is risky territory for people with generosity of spirit. Beware.
Good news is rare these days, and every glittering ounce of it should be cherished and hoarded and worshipped and fondled like a priceless diamond.
Going to trial with a lawyer who considers your whole life-style a Crime in Progress is not a happy prospect.
Gambling can turn into a dangerous two-way street when you least expect it. Weird things happen suddenly, and your life can go all to pieces.
Freedom is something that dies unless it’s used.
For every moment of triumph, for every instance of beauty, many souls must be trampled.
Football fans share a universal language that cuts across many cultures and many personality types. A serious football fan is never alone. We are legion, and football is often the only thing we have in common.
Fiction is based on reality unless you’re a fairytale artist.
February is always a bad month for TV sports. Football is gone, basketball is plodding along in the annual midseason doldrums, and baseball is not even mentioned.
Duke is an ugly word in Kentucky. Nothing in the world compares to the joy of beating those hateful swine from Duke.
Democracy as a system has evolved into something that Thomas Jefferson didn’t anticipate.
By disgracing and degrading the presidency of the United States, by fleeing the White House like a diseased cur, Richard Nixon broke the heart of the American Dream.
By any accepted standard, I have had more than nine lives. I counted them up once, and there were 13 times I almost and maybe should have died.
Buy the ticket, take the ride.
As long as I’m learning something, I figure I’m OK – it’s a decent day.
As far as I’m concerned, it’s a damned shame that a field as potentially dynamic and vital as journalism should be overrun with dullards, bums, and hacks, hag-ridden with myopia, apathy, and complacence, and generally stuck in a bog of stagnant mediocrity.
America… just a nation of two hundred million used car salesmen with all the money we need to buy guns and no qualms about killing anybody else in the world who tries to make us uncomfortable.
All the blood is drained out of democracy – it dies – when only half the population votes.
All gamblers lose regularly, but they rarely discuss it in public. Losing is bad for the image, dude. Nobody buys Hot Tips from Losers. Remember that.
A word to the wise is infuriating.
‘Crazy’ is a term of art; ‘Insane’ is a term of law. Remember that, and you will save yourself a lot of trouble.

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